Wates Group team with In Bloom and Wardens clean up

Last Friday 24 September a group of volunteers carried out an Autumn clean up of Old Mill Drive and the Mill Pond.

For some time Storrington in Bloom has been concerned about the lack of maintenance of the HDC land to the West of Old Mill Drive. The southern end has become very overgrown with nettles and brambles which threaten to invade the path and it is a repository for litter which is difficult to remove. We also wanted to maintain the excellent work which the Village Wardens and volunteers from WSCC did round the Mill Pond in 2020.

In early 2020 we had been approached by Wates, the building firm, with the offer of a group of their employees to do some work for the community. This had seemed like an opportunity not to be missed. Sadly, Covid got in the way but when Wates renewed their offer this year, with the help of our wonderful Village Wardens, Chris Poore and Steve Christian, we finally managed to get a day organised for 24th September 2021.

The weather was sunny and the 16 young, fit, Wates employees, many of whom had travelled long distances to be here, were raring to go. Steve wielded the strimmer enthusiastically round the pond cutting down nettles and brambles which the volunteers piled into hippo bags supplied by HDC. We collected lots of rubbish, mostly cans and wrappers but including a fire extinguisher and a traffic cone, both of which had been thrown into the pond.

After some cutting back of bushes, we moved on to Old Mill Drive. We had been expecting the volunteer coordinator from WSCC to join us bringing more robust tools, but he was needed on another project so we were unable to clear as much as we had planned. However, we were pleased with the end result. Thanks go to Wates for their support. Thanks also to Richard Messenger at The Moon who hosted the Wates team, supplied lovely bacon sandwiches and pizza and also a place for belongings to be left safely.

With help from one of our District Councillors, we were able to ensure that HDC Parks & Countryside dept. would provide the service to clear the collected rubbish.

This clearly needs to be an annual event to combat the rate of overgrowth and the litter, although we may not be able to rely on teams from local building companies every year.

Coordinator, Storrington In Bloom

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